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From Dream To Film Maker In Three Months

8 Reasons you should attend a Film Course

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you want to be a Film Director?

Here are five reasons to enroll on a high quality Film School

Actors Acting on one of our Four Month Course Production

You learn how to make films professionally.

Many people try to do it all on their own and they end up making the same amateur mistakes. These mistakes tend to make their film efforts look amateur. I see it time and time again. Film Makers who make film after film and wonder why they are never getting into A List film festivals or getting a great reaction from their audience. Without the correct instruction, this film maker can end up permanently grounded.

The main problem areas are

  • Sound
  • Poor Acting
  • Shot narrative
  • Post Production

2  The second reason to enroll on a Film Course is the networking. You meet like minded people and

Filming on set

this will accelerate your progress dramatically. There is nothing like meeting people with a similar passion. Many people on our courses end up collaborating on film projects after the course. One person ends up as the producer while the other is the Director and another person ends up writing the film. These people create a core film production entity. There is so much power in these combinations.

I remember when I was in Film School years ago, three of us got together and in record time we had a $25,000 budget and  a 20 minute short film produced. Back then,  it was hard to raise the budgets needed to make films. You had to shoot on Super 16 mm film stock and edit on steenbacks using film print. You had to hire a negative matcher who cut your negative using your edit decisions from your work print. All in all it was an expensive process back in 1992.

Somehow within six months we had made a film with a very big cast. There was a Grip and Gaffer Crew and as a young film maker, I thought all my Christmases had come at once. We had Cranes and Tracks and basically all the frills of a big budget film shoot. and this was all as a result of two other people I met on a Film Course.

Today,  the Camera Lights and Sound and Grips Equipment has come very inexpensive.  Today everything has changed.

3  Knowlege of what Film Equipment you need.

This is the third reason you need to attend a Film Course. You need to know what equipment to use. You need to know what the best lowest priced equipment you need for your film shoots after the Film Course ends. This part saves you thousands of dollars.

You need to know what the best Camera is to use on your shoot. You need to know the best sound equipment to obtain. You need to know the best lighting combinations.  There is a lot to learn but it can be learned very quickly on a high quality film course.

When you attend a course like ours, you learn all about the best equipment to use and whether you should buy or rent after the Film Course.

4 Training

This is one of the most important reasons to attend a film course. You learn how to make a film using our FIlm Equipment.

You learn how to

  • operate a Film Camera
  • create a Shot list
  • how to direct actors
  • how to get the best location sound
  • how to light a set effectively.
  • and much more

On a really good film course like ours, you learn how to make a film by actually shooting a real film. You get to do all the crew roles and get some experience in all the areas. This ultimately makes you a better producer or director or writer.

5 The Accelerator.

A really good film school accelerates your film career dramatically. You learn how to make a film ten times faster meaning that over a six month period  you gain years on the competition and put yourself years ahead of the people who are trying to do it all on their own.

6 Great Times

I always remember my Film School years fondly. When you were learning how to make films, you are finally living with your passion and moving towards your dreams. Many times we hear from our film students about how profoundly their year has changed. They tell me how many times their lives are transformed by doing something worthwhile and how it is wonderful to live life actively involved in their passion.

7 Mentorship.

When you get involved with professional film makers, many times they will help you and act as a mentor. If you are a talented emerging film maker, your talent will shine and the organizers of the film course will take notice and want to help you.

8 The In Club and Work

When you have successfully completed our film courses, you will be invited to join our In Film Club. Here you will hear of job opportunities and film projects. Here you will also hear of DOPs and other crew and actors that you will need to make your film happen.

So for these 8 reasons, it is a really a great idea to enroll on our top quality Film Course. Check out the 4 Month Film School 


Till next time have a great one

Colm O'Murchu

Director Sydney Film Base

The Film Editor- The Real Star of Film Production

September 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

POST: The Film Editor is the true star of any Film Production

Today, I want to focus on The Film Editor.

Learning all about the Tools of the Trade

This morning I read all about the Oscars.  Kirk Baxter, an Australian, has just won back to back Oscars. Kirk won last night for the film " The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. *  Yet it hardly makes the papers.  For many people, film  editors are these nerdy characters who spend way too much time in small rooms. Yet in reality they are the true stars of any Film Production.

Tropfest was one of the big film events in February.  Tropfest is the worlds largest film festival which takes place at the Domain in Sydney. On the Saturday I attended Tropfest Roughcut with about 150 other film makers.     Speaking at the event were non other than

Geoffrey Rush, Actor (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean)
Kieran Darcy-Smith, Director (Wish You Were Here), Actor (Animal Kingdom)
Jason Ballantine, Editor (The Great Gatsby, Wolf Creek, Wish You Were Here)

Jason Ballantine is certainly one of the most talented Film Editors with a raft of great film credits all ready attached to his name. Yet he is very humble.  Yet, he is one of the most important  creative people working on Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio

I always find it amazing that Film Editors never get the credit that they are due. I am going to be controversial and say this the Film Editor is the single most important crew member after the Film Director.

Many outsiders do not realize the following fact.   The Film Director will spend most of his or her life in post production. The Shoot might be only 6 - 10 weeks while post production will often consume about 9 months after the film is finished. Peter Jackson spent just over  a year shooting the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then spent three years in Post Production.

It is the attention to detail in Post Production that pays off. If time is spent on post production, this will dramatically make the difference between a  really good film and an average film.

Let me clarify Post Production. Post Production includes the

Picture Edit (today's subject)
Colouring and Grading
Visual Effects
Sound Postproduction
Conforming formats such as DCP.
The Film Director is involved with all of the above.

Booming and getting the very best location sound

On the film set, the film director only gathers the building blocks of  the film and of course it is very important to get the very best building blocks. However the edit and full post production is where the film is made. There is a gulf of difference between a really good edit and an average edit. In the former,  the film is dynamic and engaging. In the latter the film stinks and is considered a Turkey.

However the edit is one area that is neglected in the short film arena. Many emerging film makers believe that the film is complete, once the shoot is over.

The mindset is this .....  "Oh yes there is still a bit of editing and music to do but the film is now shot and it will only be a short time till the film is complete."
The emerging film maker  then confronts reality. Post Production can suddenly feel like a never ending process.

Picture Editing  is an art form that  only came into existence when  motion picture was invented back in the late 19th Century.  Before 1896, there were many fine actors who acted in theater  and there were many stories been told in different mediums. Photography had been around for a long time. Music had been around since the dawn of man.

Motion Picture editing only started once we could shoot motion picture.  Therefore it is the purest season of film making. It exists totally out of the need to cut motion picture and create the illusion of a story.

Editing up to the early 1990s was a cumbersome process. I remember my first films back in the late 80s. We used to edit on Steenbacks. We would literally chop the film with a small guillotine and splice it back together with splicing tape. Any visual effects would be chalked on the film print and sent off to an Optical House where the effects would be created.

How times have changed for the better.  We now edit in the computer and anyone can do it from anywhere. I often edit on the airplane when I am on long flights. You will only know the difference great editing makes once  you start to make your own films. One of the areas we focus on in our film schools is Post Production. A large part of the course is dedicated to post production with 5 sessions spent finishing the film.

Many emerging film makers find the shoot so exciting and fun. The adrenalin is running and once the film is shot, they then are

Course Production Filming on Set

confronted with post production which is insular and slow.  Suddenly there is only two people.  The Director and the Editor sitting in front of a computer actually making a film. Not so exciting for many people.

To me personally, editing is one of the best parts of film making.  When one sits down to create magic and a memorable engaging story, the hours fly by.  I believe that if you want to be a Film Director it is important to love this season of film making.

You have a choice as a Film Director.

  1. Learn editing and become an expert at editing and cutting your own short films and anyone else you can volunteer for. I  personally think that if you can learn to edit, it will pay off in the  long run.
  2. Find an experienced or up and coming editor and work closely with them on your films

How do you do this?  The first step is to enroll on a really good film school


Till next time , have a great one.
Colm O’Murchu      Director

* If you have not seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, please see it. It is a wonderful film that engages you from the beginning to the end. David Fincher  is at his best in this very engaging thriller set in Sweden

Creating the Film Director Stars of Tomorrow- Hot Talent Club is launched

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Post: Creating the Film Director Stars of Tomorrow- Hot Talent Club is launched

On Set at our Custom Designed Police Station

At Australian Film Base,  we regularly are sent job opportunities and film production requests that we can not take on. It has been a frustration seeing these opportunities going to waste.   We are also involved in many of our own feature film productions and other peoples film productions that we have been commissioned to produce. As a working production company, it has been a great pleasure to employ the very best talent from our film courses on to these productions over the years.

Late last year,  I decided that I wanted to create a non-profit Club that would support and help the most talented film makers. The club would   immediately make their advanced film dreams happen once the  four month film school had concluded.  I wanted to create a vehicle where they could quickly get film industry employment and make their very own passion film projects. This would include feature films documentaries and short films and no hanging around. These projects would happen immediately with solid enforceable deadlines.

Late last year, I came up with the true vision for our film courses and productions at International FIlm Base.  I coined the phrase "Creating the Film  Director Stars of tomorrow."  Out of this vision, in late February this year,  the Hot Talent Club was born and launched in Sydney and  in the next few months in Melbourne.

What is the Hot Talent Club?

The Hot Talent Club is for people who have completed our 4 Month Film School in Melbourne    It is a mix of exceptionally motivated and ambitious film makers who want support and crew other film makers while making their very own passion film projects.

In the Hot Talent , you will  find a mix of exceptionally talented actors, make up artists, producers and Directors. These people all have one thing in common.  They all want to move to the A List. All of these people are committed to being players in the film industry, now and  in the future. What this means is that the Hot Talent Club creates the energy matrix for these players to make their mark with every film that they are involved in.

At  each  monthly meeting a project will be launced with a deadline for production and for completion and the Producer or Director is held accountable to that deadline. Out of the Hot Club we expect to see A List Film Directors and Producers making feature films and TV drama and documentaries  for the world.

Ready to shoot a scene on the Red Camera

You may ask "How do I get into the Hot Talent Club?"

Every selected  person must attend our Four Month Film School in  Melbourne.  They must show  committment to their film projects during the Four Month Film School. The candidate should have the fire in the belly and a desire to work exceptionally hard to make their film the best that it can be.  At the end , the top 3 -4 people  are invited to join the Hot Talent Club. Each person is selected by the Hot Club Panel.

Ultimately, we want one or more of our members to go to the very top in world cinema and make films that get seen by the world. The overall purpose is to create the film production hits and the Director Producer Stars of tomorrow.

So if you are inspired to start your film career now, please look at our Four Month Film Courses in Melbourne . There is no faster way to get on to your first serious film production completed.  We are conducting interviews for our Four Month Film Schools right now. Book by phone on 1800 131166

More of Colm O'Murchu blogs on his site on



A-list Film Makers come to our Home

April 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Special Announcement:

For some time now I have had an ambition to bring the very best FilmMakers in Australia to International Film Base.

I am very proud to announce that the top of the Australian Film Industry, Australia's creme de le creme, is coming to our home.

International Film Base presents the  A- List Film Makers Seminar  on Saturday 26th May 2012.  

I have always believed that it is a really good idea to learn from the successful people who make films. The Film Makers work at the very top and on films budgeted between $8 million to $150 million.

We will be learning from 3 of the very best about how the Film Making Business operates and how they have been so successful in getting there.

The Film Makers are


Red Dog Trailer


RED DOG Berlin Film Festival, 2011-  Winner, Audience Award, Vail Film Festival Colorado 2011  Winner, Grand Prize Award, Best Narrative Film, Heartland Film Festival 2011Winner, Best Director and Best Feature Film, IF Awards 2011  -  Winner, Best Film, AACTA Awards 2012


LUCKY COUNTRY   2008  Feature Film  -   Director


BOXING DAY   2007    83 minutes   The Adelaide Film Festival / Rising Sun Pictures / Smoking Gun Productions / Horrorshow
Director / Screenwriter / Producer / Cinematographer Kriv Stenders    2007 The Animal Logic IF Award for Best Director
Official Selection               2007 Montreal Festival Du Nouveau Cinema (Special Jury Menti    2007 Sydney Film Fest   2007 Dungog Film Festival

 BLACKTOWN  2005  91 minutesHorrorshow / Pod Film / Madman Entertainment / NTFO
Director / Screenwriter / Producer / Cinematographer Kriv Stenders  Audience Award                2005 Sydney International Film Festival




Currently the Co-Film Editor on THE GREAT GATSBY. He is best known as the Film Editor for WOLF CREEK.

He recently completed Kieran Darcy-Smith's psychological drama Wish You Were Here and Bill Bennett's island mystery Uninhabited. As well as Screen Gems highly successful teen thriller Prom Night.  Nominated for an ASE Award for Rogue and Caterpillar Wish, an AFI and FCCA Award for the acclaimed Wolf Creek,




Producer, Gregory Read bought the rights to Patrick Whites Book and produced the film adaptation. The Film was directed by Fred  Scheppsi and starred Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis.

The Three Film Makers will tell you

  • How they made it in the Australian Film Business:
  • How they work their craft with samples from their work.
  • Stories about the making of their films.

Major Announcement after Easter

April 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Wishing all my readers a relaxing and fun Easter Break. 

After Easter we have a major announcement to make in relation to something that I believe  will be a major turning point.  If you want to learn from the very best in the Australian Film Industry, keep you eyes peeled for my next post.  I will leave you in suspense till then.

As it is Easter,  I would like to mention some of my favourite films that I have seen at the cinema this year. These films should be available online or at your local DVD shop soon.  If you have time over Easter check them out. I think you will really enjoy all three of these films.  Of the 14 that I have seen in the cinema this year these three films were the most enjoyable.


Tower Heist (Action Comedy)

For plain entertainment value, I really enjoyed  this film. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the workers at a luxury Central Park condominium discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them.





The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (Thriller)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. I have seen the Sweedish version of this film and I much preferred this years updated American Version. The Film is slow to start but once it gets going, the intriging plot takes you into the most surprising twists. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.



The Descendants  (Drama)

I really liked this heart warming drama.  From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty. Very moving and engaging.


Inspiration in the Australian Outback

January 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

 Post:  Driving in the Outback can be inspiring.

Praying for Inspiration

Valeska and I took off for about ten days and went to outback NSW and rambled from town to town, going with the flow and only moving when we felt like it. We did not see a drop of rain and loved  the constant blue skies.

Before you ask, "How can you go to a part of the world that has temperatures hitting the 40C mark (105 F)", please let me explain.

Well I did have a mission. I wanted to come up with a great story outline and treatment for our next screenplay.  I love the great open spaces of the outback and country New South Wales. Very inspiring. No tourists are crazy enough to go out here in the heat of summer and that is exactly why I love it. It feels like the real deal,  like a road movie.

Our goal was to create an awesome story outline  and utilize the passing scenery and all the quirky cooky and very friendly characters we met on the way.

Ok our bomb does not look the best but it got us around

Idea after idea flowed and nothing seemed to gel. We would come up with one story outline after another and then trash them.  We could only find enough for B Grade film.  Story after story idea was tossed around and then trashed.

Even  at Lightning Ridge where black opals are mined, we could not get a story outline that was a winner.  All the story ideas, we came up with in the first eight days of traveling just seemed to be a cliche and stale.  From Coonabarabran to Gundegai to  Lightening Ridge to Bourke to St George , we created only garbage. Our characters seemed to be just flat.

Exasperated, I was about to give up on Day 8 and just enjoy the rest of our road trip, when it happened. We were approaching Moree when something on the radio sparked me off. Suddenly an amazing idea floated into my head. I got out my IPhone recorder and started flowing with a story that would prove to be so cool and original and dare I say it "Fresh"

Road going to the West

Valeska and I then started talking about the story and more flowed. Out of that amazing creative dimension called creativity,  scenes spouted out at a faster rate than we could record them.

There was an excitement about this idea that was missing from all previous ideas. We were suddenly on fire.

The next day we went back to the story and it still seemed like a really fresh story.  More ideas and more scenes appeared to us and we felt that sense of flow that happens when you hit oil. I reflected on inspiration and what happens when a story truly appears.

Here are some of my thoughts:  I believe that finding a great story is like searching for gold. You have to shift a lot of dirt to get to gold but when it happens it's priceless. Then it's like striking oil. Ideas and scenes spew out at an alarming rate faster than you can process them.  To get to this point I believe  that you need to trash bad story outlines as soon as you know it. This saves you so much time and stress later.

A Beer always helps

Today I am knocking out a 20  page treatment of the story that will encapsulate the whole film from beginning to end. Then the story is submitted to my 3 week test. In other words, will the story be as strong at  the end of Janaury as it is now. If so, I will fully comit and move on to producing and developing the story as a  film.

What is the movie called ,   "Hot Streak".   30% of the film takes place in California and the other 70% in Australian outback towns. Our lead character is American and most of the supports are Australian. Anyone interested in investing, get in early.

If you are interested in creating a really cool story, look at our
4 month Film School in Sydney . The first two weeks is all about developing a story and writing a screenplay or please look at our Weekend Film Schools in Adelaide and Melbourne 


Till next time, have a great one.


Colm O'Murchu

5 Reasons why I love the AFM in LA every year

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

 I attended the AFM for the third time in November.

I always find the AFM an inspiring event. The AFM stands for the American Film Market. It is where films are bought and sold by Sales Agents and Distributors from around the world. For example, Ron Howard visited selling his Formulae One film, RUSH.  The film business epicenter is Los Angeles and Hollywood and right in the heart of it is the AFM.  The AFM is one of the key events every year.

Why do I enjoy the AFM so  much and why do I go year after year? Here are five reasons that I love going every year.

1 Relationships.

Film making and financing requires key relationships to make films happen. The AFM has many people pitching their projects to Sales Agents and Distributors. This year, we made progress. We have now attracted a company in the US who will finance the Script Development and packaging of our $5 million dollar film "The Lima Connection."  set in Lima Peru and Mimi Florida With a film like this, we have to take an international approach attending the AFM

2 Seminars:

Every morning there are very useful seminars on financing distribution and marketing films. Film Sales is in such a state of flux. With the internet changing the landscape of how films are presented and sold, the market is in a state of shift. At these seminars, one is educated in exactly what is happening.

3  Networking Drinks at the Lowes Hotel

Every afternoon about 3PM,  the networking drinks start at Lowes Hotel. This is where everyone meets and greets each other. There is a mixture of Sales Agents, Actors, Film Makers and Distributors. You never know who you are going to meet.
The Goal is always to find mutually beneficial relationships. One of the ironies of the networking drinks is that nobody drinks much. Most people do not drink at all. Yes drinks are expensive but the main reason, none of us drink is that we want to stay sharp. Nothing looks worst than a tipsy person trying to network. For me, these networking drinks led to meeting some key people who I will form alliances with in the future.

4  Parties

After  the networking drinks, the major players and stars often throw parties. Getting invited is the trick. But every night there is a different party. Once again, this all works back to reason number one. Relationships. It is who you know that helps you finance your films. The more key relationships you build , the better.

I attended a fun party in the Hollywood Hills where there were many people you see in papers all the time. I also attended another very good film industry party in Venice beach. Even with Door Security, this party was packed. Still great fun . Once again, this is where you meet people who in the future , may end up as a key alliance in the financing of a future film. Once again stay sober and sharp, if you want to get the maximum benefit from the parties. Also you want to be in great shape for the Seminar next morning at 9am.  Another cool party was where Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly) was playing in his band.

5 Deals and Meetings

Meetings happen at all the cafes and restaurants all over Santa Monica. I had one of my main meetings at my favourite Hollywood Hotel called the Roosevelt Hotel. Yes in the end it is all about signing contracts and financing future projects. I very much enjoyed signing our contract for The Lima Connection at the Polo Bar in Beverly Hills Hotel. Jennifer Anniston was sitting at the power table near-by which added a very Hollywood feel.  This is what it is all about. Relationships that lead to your next project getting made and distributed widely worldwide.


Yes it was a great 10 Days in the epicenter of the film business. I find the time there is inspiring and up-lifting. Should you go? Once you are developing feature film projects, I think you will find the international relationships you develop will be of great benefit to you. With two feature film projects in development, the American Film Market is a week where I make major progress and also check closely on how my past films are selling. In the end it is still all about making films.

Since I have being back in Sydney Australia, I have been working with a very cool film called "Repressed "as a DOP. I am also gearing up to shoot my next feature film in May 2012.

If you would like to learn how to make your own films, the first step is to attend a great film course. it is part of my inspiration to teach other people how to produce an direct their own films.  As we say at International Film Base, we want toe create the Film Director Stars of tomorrow.

I am  presenting my  Weekend Film School  <> in Sydney Australia this weekend on December 10th and 11th. This is one of the last times I will present as next year , I will delegate the film teaching to other Film Instructors

Also we have our One Week Film Directors School <>  at the Gold Coast . This is a 100% Hands on Film School where you learn to make a film by actually making a film. Please leave comments as I always like to hear from you.

Till next time have a great one.











Colm O'Murchu   Director International Film Base

Making a living from Independent Film Production

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Its very warm in Sydney today. It is supposed to be mid winter but the temperature is currently 25C.(75F). I am writing this post sitting on the beach at Dee Why and it's just beautiful. Next week I am off to Qatar, Paris, Dublin and  London where I present my Weekend Film School for the first time. I will get back for my Charity Premier Screening of Dealing with Destiny   on Monday August 29th and just in time for the Cinema release on September 1st .  Firstly, Here is some clips and an interview with me for "Dealing with Destiny"

Out two Stars Catherine Jermanus and Luke Arnold from Dealing with Destiny

On the last post, I itemized the different ways to make a living from film and the film world. Just  a reminder.

  1. Independent Film Production Micro Budget – Low Budget Feature Films (100k – 5 Million Dollar Budgets)
  2. Freelance DOP and Editor Work on other peoples short films and feature films
  3. Music Videos Corporates and Commercial Film Making
  4. Crew Work on mainstream Film Shoots for TV & Feature FIlm
  5. Working for Film Distributors and Government Industry.
  6. Mega Directing, Screenwriting or Producing on the big budget Hollywood films.
Today I would like to look at Number 1 & 2  in detail.  They are both intertwined.

Making a living from independent film production is a challenge. There is a long build up period to the time when you make your first feature film.  But how do you get started?

The entry point tends to beFilm School or Film Courses like ours. The best film school is one that shows you how to make a film by actually making a film. As you make more and more films and provided you put everything you have into each film, the better a Film Director you will become.

When you leave film school, you will then want to work as an independent film maker. Most people will try to do Number 4 on our list above. Find Crew Work on mainstream Film Shoots for TV and Feature Film. We will cover that area in a later post.

Some people will invest in Film Equipment buying Cameras, Lights, Sound Equipment, Grips Gear and a Post Production Suite. You may have to take out a loan and invest  $30 - 50k initially in Film Equipment.  This will get you most of the equipment that you need. I know when I first invested in my own equipment, I advertised my services for Free. Needless to say, there was a flood of interest and I had non stop film jobs where I became an expert at using all of my equipment. Eventually, I felt confident to start charging and moved quickly to a $500 per day or $2000 per week rate.  I was still flat out working and my problem was too many jobs and feeling overworked.

Pool Scene from "Dealing with Destiny"

And this is the point: It is very important to diversify. When I ask people on my film courses what they would like to do in the Film Business,  they nearly all want to be a Film Director. And that is great as long as there is plenty of Directing jobs out there. But if you diversify and learn how to DOP (shoot) films and edit films, there is plenty of  extra work to fill in the lean times between Directing gigs. In fact on our Weekend Film Schools , we show you the agencies to join, so that you get plenty of work. We also show you how to get your brand out there so that you are getting many people offering you gigs.

Now this is all well and good. But what if you want to be a Film Director making your own award winning feature films that get sold all over the  world. Well that is the second part of it. At Film School you will learn how to make films and hopefully if it is a Film Course like ours, you will get to make a film of your very own. When you leave the Film School, you will continue making short films till such time as you win or get regular entry in to major film festivals. Now it is important to monetize your short film and we show you that process on our film courses. We show you the sites where your film can make money.

As soon as you have an award winning short film, then you move on to a low budget feature film that you make on the weekends. A Feature Film can be shot on 1o weekends on very little money. How do I know this because I produced and directed and edited a zero budget Feature Film "The Makeover".   I would like to announce that you can now buy  The Makeover on our Website and you can now download the film and watch it today. It is a great example of a film that was made on a micro cash budget. The Makeover won Best Comedy Drama at the New York City Film Festival and has sold Pay TV in Europe and in the US.

When you make successful low budget films, usually bigger films attract themselves to you. While I was making The Makeover I was offered the job directing Dealing with Destiny  which is on limited release in Australia on September 1st. When you keep making independent films,  you will eventually find the budgets and the success of your films grow.

Another Scene from my film "Dealing with Destiny"

So your plan should look like this

  • Do a really cool Film Course like ours  and keep doing courses as you develop your film skills. You need to learn.
  • Make short films till you win A or B list Film Festivals and can monetize your films online.
  • Then, make a low budget feature film on the weekends
  • Apply for funding and the producers offset from the government for another one of your feature films that has a budget of $1 million - $5million. This is a long process and can take years. That is why you need to make your own micro budget films on the side.
  • Network and get to know the people who matter in our film industry
  • Keep your  eagle eyes open and pounce on opportunity
  • Allow ten years to make it as a fully established Film Director.   If you have the persistence, you will succeed.
If you need help, please remember that we are here with our Film Schools and our Film Services 

Many of you have asked me can I make films on the weekend and keep my day job. Absolutely. In Australia, many of the top film producers have other businesses or jobs which they do in-between film productions.


Till next post, have a great one


Colm O'Murchu  _ Director







Why you should always have a Casting for your film?

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Casting is one of the keys to producing a really good film.  If you run an effective casting, you will put yourself ahead of the competition dramatically.  An Amateur film is always obvious. The big give away  is actors who can not act. So therefore it is imperative that you organize a successful casting. This way your film will look professional.

Actors from The Makeover.

Actors from The Makeover.

Why do most emerging film makers ignore casting?

Most emerging film makers feel that they are not experienced enough to cast. Since they are only starting out, they should not deal with experienced actors. So it is much easier to pass and use your friend who is funny after a beer or two in the pub or the actor you have heard about through a friend of a friend. Disaster.

Lets get three facts straight.

  1. Most actors are out of work. Most actors are resting. Most actors are working in resteraunts, cafes or bars. If you have a casting for a short film or a feature film, they will be very excited about the propsect of getting in front of the camera.
  2. Most actors are used to auditions. If an actor has an agent, they  consistently attend castings for commercials, small parts in TV dramas and very rare feature films. When they are cast for a commercial, they will be paid big money but it will not move their quality career ahead. When they get a 90 word part in a TV drama, they will be very envious of the regular actors working on the TV show. The actor will be very keen to prove themselves in their own acting vehichle.
  3. Therefore actors who have not yet made it, (which is nearly all of them) will be very keen to be the leads in a short film or low budget feature film. They will attend your casting and hope to get the part.

On big films castings are more complex.  You have two specific groups of people who work in the casting area.  You have the Actors Agent such as the Ari Gold, the fictional character in the TV show Entourage. He is  based in part on the real-life Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel.  The Actors Agent represents the Actor.

Then you have the Casting Director who represents the Director and the search for the hottest acting talent for your film.   Many top directors will spend months in Casting sessions. This specific person called a Casting Director essentially creates a list of actors for the Director to see. The Casting Director at their Casting Company, will have preliminary castings so as to create a shortlist.  They will call the actors agents and select a list of their actors. This is why every actor has to have  a really good agent if they want to make it in acting. Now, this is how it happens in the big end of town

However the emerging film director and producer need to avoid the expense of the above process. How can you do it for free for your micro budget quality film.

Firstly avoid actors agents, unless you have budget to pay actors. The really good agents will not deal with micro budget film productions.

Secondly, avoid a Casting Director. Do you very own casting in your own casting space. See every single actor who wants to attend. Like a gold prospector, you will shift through all the dross to find the gold. I guarantee you, if you run two to three five hour sessions of castings, you will find gold. You will find some great actors who will lift your film production above the competition.

How do you learn to run an effective casting, I hear you say.  Of course you need to know where to source the actors. Also you need to know how to run an effective Casting. You need to know what are the essentials and that is why we have the solution for you.

Please check out the Online Film School or our Complete list of practical or live  Film Courses.

In our courses, we teach you how to cast and run an effective casting and how to source your actors.

Till next week have a great one.

Colm O'Murchu
Director International Film Base.

Author Details: Colm O'Murchu is the owner of International Film Base in Sydney Australia. 
He is currently written directed and produced The Makeover Feature Film. The Film screened at the recent Cannes Independent Film Festival in France and won Best Film at the New York City Film Festival. The Film is currently on release in Australia and has sold to Pay TV in Europe. Colm has created the Online Film School and practical or live  Film Courses. that helps emerging film makers produce their own films with no budget. For more about Colm O'Murchu please go to International Film Base

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4 Tips for Finding Locations for Free

May 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Location Location

I am very much looking forward to presenting the Weekend Film School in Sydney on  this Saturday and Sunday May 21st, 22nd. One of my favourite parts of the Weekend Film School is how we get people to meet each other and network.  On Sunday Afternoon, we launch film projects that then get produced over the following three months. If you are in town and have next weekend free,  please enroll on one of the very best film making weekends, The Sydney Weekend Film School

What I want to talk about this week is Locations. Finding locations for your film is one of the easiest part of preproduction.

Beautiful Cafe Scene for Free

Beautiful Cafe Scene for Free on The Makeover

Tip One Do not be afraid to write as many locations into your script as you need for your story to be told. I love beautiful locationsand finding the best locations in your city is rather easy. There is an old adage in low budget film making that says "Shoot in a one loacation for three weeks and never move out of there. Yes that is called a play and there is nothing wrong with plays. But if you are shooting a movie, make the movie visual. One can do this by having appropriate locations in your film.

Tip Two . Only have one location move per day and do your best to to schedule only one location for a full shooting day. Over a 30 day shoot, you could have 30 locations. Moving in the middle of the day chews up time. I remember supervising a student short film called Money We only had a one day shoot and we had five locations to shoot in. We spent half the day in the car driving from one location to the other.  If you have to change locations,  only move once on the day. I know this seems contrary to what Tip One outlines. It is important to find the balance.

Tip Three: Make sure that you have a written agreement with the location owner. Most locations are free and are contributions to the film. Still it is very important to have an agreement. with the owner about the hours and day the location is needed for. Also outline

  • Will the location get an end credit in the film?
  • Will the location signage be seen in the film?
  • Make sure that the location is free of all external people or customers. There is nothing worse than shooting in a cafe that is still open to the public. If the location has external people, pack up and go home.

Bar Location for Free

Bar Location for Free The Makeover

Tip Four. Clean up the location after the shoot and make it cleaner than before you arrived. This is very important and I know I am stating the obvious.

If you get the owner excited about your film in advance of shooting and then when you leave the location,  the owner is  happy , you will help future film makers have an easy time. That could be you again. Invite the Location Owner to all parties and screenings. Leave a great impression.

Of the 55 locations that we found for The Makeover Feature Film, 44 of them were free. When an owner, contributes a location to your film, they are in a way an investor in your project.

On our courses, we teach you how to find locations with ease and for free. Find out more about our courses by clicking on an interesting course on our home page

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